Scioto County Board of Elections Chairman Steve Mowery said if the November general election took place today, there would not be enough workers to staff the polling places.
“We have a critical need for poll workers, born of the many changes in our election system,” he said on Tuesday.
The county switched to electronic voting from the punch card method a couple of years ago as mandated by the state.
“The election process has changed and our needs have changed,” Mowery said. “Our list of poll workers has grown older with the election process. A large portion of our poll workers are 65 and older.”
He said some poll workers have said they will not work on Election Day anymore because of the new technology.
The board needs 424 poll workers on Election Day. They are paid $85 for the day.
“The Scioto County Board of Elections wants to be pro-active and move toward establishing a substantial base of poll workers who will be well-trained and prepared for Election Day events and issues,” Mowery said.
He said the board may ask local businesses to let their employees take the day off with pay to work on Election Day.
“Our pool of potential workers would increase considerably if schools, colleges, hospitals, doctors, lawyers and others would permit a number of its employees to serve as poll workers,” Mowery said.
He said the board has not yet talked to any businesses about the idea.
“The employer could limit the number of employees who could serve as a poll worker per election to avoid hardship to the employer,” Mowery said.
Those wanting to work on Election Day must be a qualified elector and be able to work 13 or 14 hours that day.
Anyone interested should contact the board of elections office at the Scioto County Courthouse or call (740) 353-4178.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.